The Tory leadership race is hotting up as a number of senior MPs throw their hat in to the ring to replace outgoing Theresa May. But Brexiteers Iain Duncan Smith and Priti Patel lambasted the hopefuls, causing them of having “enormous self worth” and urged them to “cut through the guff” and get Britain out of the bloc.
Mr Smith, former Tory leader, and Ms Patel, former International Development secretary, warned the next Tory leader would face the “onerous” task of uniting the party which is “teetering on the brink” amid the Brexit chaos.
Writing of the Daily Telegraph, they said: “What we need to know is: are they prepared to rule out now a further extension of Article 50 beyond October 31? For that is what will define this debate.
“Our only chance of rebuilding our prospects depends on our delivering Brexit at the latest by October 31.”
They said the Tory party has “fudged and slurred its way through” and a new leader must not “fail to grasp the enormity of the referendum result”.
The Tory MPs said: “This leadership election must result in three things for the party – the delivery of Brexit no later than 31 October; capitalism to set people free, tempered by social justice; and strong leadership that can communicate and enthuse.
“Get this right and the Conservative Party will rise again.”
Their comments come after Tory leadership hopeful Sajid Javid has refused to rule out extending Britain’s departure from the European Union beyond the end of October.
The Home Secretary, who is among 13 candidates vying to replace Theresa May, said he did not want to delay Brexit but would not ignore Parliament if it forced his hand.
Meanwhile Andrea Leadsom, whose resignation as Commons leader triggered the Prime Minister’s departure, said she would not seek to renegotiate Mrs May’s deal and vowed to leave the EU by the end of October in a “managed exit”.
She also ruled out holding a general election this year and said she would not support a second referendum or an alliance with the Brexit Party.